You guys know I don't normally mess around with any teh ghey R&B music. When I'm not listening to hip-hop, which is more often than not these days (if you are, you're obviously some sort of sadist), I'll stick with my usual indie rock bullshit, thank you very much.

But once something becomes popular enough, I can't help but feel obligated to explore it as a sociological phenomenon. Case in point, Robin Thicke. What is it about this fruity, George Michael-looking Canadian mofo that's made him the most popular cracka-ass cracka male R&B artist since, like, forever?

I remember like five or six years ago when he put out that song that was based on motherfucking "A Fifth of Beethoven." Wow, what an awful idea that was. I think it managed to get played on MTV and VH1 because he's a good-looking guy (no homo) and related to Alan Thicke and the song had a kinda snazzy video, but I don't recall anyone really thinking this guy was genuinely worth a shit.

Fast forward to 2007, when "Lost Without You" has all of a sudden become the most popular song by a cracka-ass cracka on black radio since at least that song Jon B did with 2Pac, if not "Careless Whisper" or some shit. For all the talk about PT Cruisers such as Christina Aguilera, Joss Stone, Amy Winehouse, you don't hear them nearly as often on black stations. What gives?

As much as it pained me, I ended up "picking up" a copy of his latest album, The Evolution of Robin Thicke and giving it a listen. Come to find out, it's not half that bad. Granted it's not that good either, but I've definitely heard worse albums this week. As far as these things go, it probably falls somewhere between the Amy Winehouse album, which is nails, and the Joss Stone one, which decidedly isn't.

The thing is, this album is fucking steeped in cliche. It's impossible to listen to it at any point and not hear shades of any number of other R&B singers, especially Marvin Gaye. I suppose that's bound to happen in a genre of music as dead as R&B, in which the best anyone can hope to do is a pale imitation of something that was entirely commonplace 20 or 30 years ago. I'm just saying.

Obviously a great deal of the guy's appeal is based on his looks, which will be entirely lost on the vast majority of us guys. It's also a well-known fact (sometimes they mention it before they play his song on the radio - no lie) that he's married to a black chick. Black women loved to be patronized, especiallly with regard to their appearance vis a vis other groups of women.

Isn't that right, my beautiful soul sisters?

So I can't give The Evolution of Robin Thicke the full-on recommendation. But it might be worth your while to pick up a copy in case you have a bitch in the car, in which case the most recent Dinosaur Jr., album or whatever most people are listening to these days just plain isn't going to cut it. There's even two songs with Lil' Wayne on it, if you're into that sort of thing.